In the book 1998 biography, A Beautiful Mind, by Sylvia Nasar, John Nash is said to have entered Einstein's office to discuss his ideas that photons have friction.

Nash had an idea about "gravity, friction, and radiation," as he later recalled. The friction he was thinking of was the friction that a particle, say a photon, might encounter as it moved through space due to its fluctuating gravitational field interacting with other gravitational fields. Nash had given his hunch enough thought to spend much of the meeting at the blackboard scribbling equations. Soon, Einstein and Kemeny were standing at the blackboard as well. The discussion lasted the better part of an hour. But in the end all that Einstein said, with a kindly smile, was "You had better study some more physics, young man." Nash did not immediately take Einstein's advice and he never wrote a paper on his idea. His youthful foray into physics would become a lifetime interest-though, like Einstein's search for the unified field, it would not be especially fruitful. Many decades later, however, a German physicist published a similar idea.

The references for this section show it was all Nash's recollections, as told to Harold Kuhn, years later.

Is it true that photons have friction?

  • 8
    "Is it true that photons have friction?" a question for physics.stackexchange.com but probably not here.
    – GEdgar
    Jan 4 '20 at 13:13
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because question about physics should be on another site.
    – rjzii
    Jan 4 '20 at 22:21
  • 1
    @rjzii Agree: it isn't a bad question, but the right site is physics.SE not skeptics.SE
    – matt_black
    Jan 5 '20 at 14:34

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